Uncovering YOU

Thursday, January 16, 2014

One day about a year or so ago one of dearest friends who,  during our adult lives, has probably often known me better than I knew myself commented on a tweet, Instagram or Facebook post {WHICH I CANNOT FIND AND IT IS DRIVING ME BONKERS!!!} something along the lines of 

"You are becoming so beautifully YOU!" 

It resonated deep down inside my spirit. I got it. I knew EXACTLY what she was talking and the fact that she noticed and affirmed this without prompting has been one of the most heart-lifting sentiments that I've received. Because over the past few years I have become so much more "me." And it's liberating and beautiful and true.

Just look at these two pictures.

This was me five years ago. 
This is me last spring. 

Ignoring the fact that I'm a few pounds lighter {not as much as it appears though}, I look 10 years older and like I'm carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders in the older picture. Who knows, perhaps I was. What I do know is that these two pictures are entirely representative of my growth in life. 

I spent years striving to be better than I was, yet always coming up short. Searching, waiting, disappointed, and at times, depressed, because I didn't see my passion and dreams unfolding the way I had imagined. Truth be told, a significant part of my frustration was that I simply didn't even know what my dreams *were* anymore-- let alone how to make them happen. Dreaming was tiresome and only contributed to my enormous guilt-load when I failed time and again. 

But as the years wore on, I started seeing Jesus differently. I began to hear him whisper to me that I was enough. "I love you in THIS moment- when you are nothing more and nothing less than YOU." During that season I stopped dreaming and I stopped trying so hard and I gave myself the freedom to live in contentment and to love my Daddy with no strings attached and to let him love me back in the very same way. 

The unexpected part was that in loving Him and allowing myself the grace to let him love me; 
I learned to love myself

Today I sit here unearthing my strengths along with my weaknesses. Only instead of feeling defeated by what I can't do, I feel encouraged and inspired by what I CAN do.  I feel the urge and the desire to keep dreaming and to start doing. It's a journey-- not a race-- toward my passions. I'm working out how to incorporate my love and my talents to create and design and brainstorm and study and encourage and write and speak into a package that tailor-made to maximize these strengths while I quit trying to operate in areas that aren't. Let me tell you, in doing this, THERE IS FREEDOM!

Let me encourage you today that if you aren't sure who you, what you want in life, what your gifts, talents and strengths look like and how you're going to ever become the person that you want to be-- take a deep breath and offer yourself both time and grace. If you feel anxiety over not measuring up to a certain standard, let go of the expectations that you are placing upon yourself. There is good chance that those aren't the Lord's expectations of you anyway so stop striving. It is freedom, lovely ones.

Just read these words from the song "In Christ Alone":

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

Allow your fears to be stilled and your striving to cease today. Stand simple and completely in the love of Christ. It will transform you. 

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